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Top Trump official Ken Cuccinelli faces immediate backlash for his ‘absurd’ rewrite of the Statue of Liberty greeting

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Ken Cuccinelli (Screen Capture)

“Cuccinelli may as well have this engraved on a plaque, hang it around his neck, and wear it for the rest of his life,” said the director of the ACLU’s immigrant rights project

Acting Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Ken Cuccinelli is under fresh fire on Tuesday after telling NPR in an interview that the famous words engraved on the U.S. Statue of Liberty—based on the poem by Emma Lazarus—should be re-cast with a qualifier when it comes to the kinds of people arriving at the nation’s shores seeking refuge or welcome.

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“Give me your tired and your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge,” Cuccinelli responded after being asked by NPR’s “Morning Edition” host Rachel Martin if the Lazarus poem, titled “The New Colossus,” remains part of the American ethos under the Trump administration

His appearance on NPR came a day after Cuccunelli announced the administration was proposing new immigration rules that would require prospective green card applicants to show evidence that they would not likely require government assistance at  any point in the future if they were granted foreign worker or permanent residency status.

As the audio from Cuccinelli’s Tuesday morning interview hit social media channels, outrage and condemnation immediately followed.

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“Cuccinelli may as well have this engraved on a plaque, hang it around his neck, and wear it for the rest of his life,” tweeted Omar Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project.

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According to CBS News, the long-anticipated policy “would require caseworkers to consider the use of government housing, food, and medical assistance such as the widely-used Section 8 housing vouchers, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicare’s Part D prescription drug coverage” when examining permanent residency applications.

Per NPR on Tuesday:

Welfare benefits will be just one factor that immigration service officers use to determine an applicant’s fate in the United States, in addition to age, health, education and financial status.

“If they don’t have future prospects of being legal permanent residents without welfare, that will be counted against them,” Cuccinelli said.

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“All immigrants who can stand on their own two feet, self-sufficient, pull themselves up by their bootstraps,” would be welcome, he added.

As Common Dreams reporting noted Monday, immigrant rights groups that denounced the plan when it was first unveiled in September raised fresh alarm and vowed to take legal action against the Trump administration to stop the rule, which is now set to take effect in 62 days.

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WATCH: Trump supporter cries discrimination during Starbucks mask meltdown

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An argument that erupted between a barista and her customer at a Santee, Calif. Starbucks has gone viral.

The incident occurred when the barista, Alex Beckom, 19, asked her customer to pull her mask up from her chin. The customer was a White woman wearing a Trump 2020 mask. The customer's response was that she was being discriminated against because of her support of President Donald J. Trump.

“F— Black Lives Matter,” the customer told Beckom, who is Black.

The woman then asked for a straw and sugar packets before they parted ways.

Watch the video below.

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Breonna Taylor grand juror issues blistering statement accusing prosecutors of misleading public about the case

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An anonymous grand juror in the Breonna Taylor case has issued a scathing statement about prosecutors misleading the public shortly after she was given legal clearance to discuss proceedings.

According to WLKY reporter Deni Kamper, Judge Annie O’Connell of the Kentucky 30th Circuit Court 2nd Division ruled on Tuesday that the grand juror will be allowed to talk about the case publicly, roughly three weeks after they accused Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron of misleading the public about the case prosecutors presented to jurors.

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CDC reports 285,000 more deaths than a ‘normal’ year due to COVID-19 pandemic

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A new report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the coronavirus pandemic has left about 285,000 more people dead in the United States than would be expected in a typical non-pandemic year. Of the approximate 285,000 deaths, two-thirds were attributed to the virus.

The CDC study found that the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has taken a disproportionate toll on Latinos and Blacks. The CDC also found that COVID-19 deaths hit 25- to 44-year-olds extremely hard with an "excess death" rate up by 26.5 percent in relation to previous years. This was the largest death jump among any age group in the study.

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